Travel Tip of the Day: How to Get from London to its Airports

Heathrow Express

How to Get from London to its Airports
I just returned from London, where I spent a quick but exciting 30 hours. One of the questions I always get about London from readers is: What’s the best way to get between the city and the airport?

The answer is it depends on a lot of factors, including where you’re going, how much luggage you have, what time of day it is, and of course which airport, as London has multiple airports. The most popular is Heathrow, which I travel through often—and when I do, I either take Heathrow Express or the Tube. Rarely do I take a taxi since it’s crazy expensive and it takes a lot longer.

But Heathrow is just one of the options, so to help you find the best way to get to four of the main London airports (Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, and Luton) airports, The London Telegraph compared fares and journey times for rail, bus, London Underground, and coach services. I hope it helps!

 

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Johnny Jet

I used to be afraid to fly and at times even leave the house! I conquered my fear (long story) and now I travel to 20+ countries a year sharing my firsthand knowledge, tips and deals with friends, family and readers. Please sign up to our free newsletters and tell your friends!

8 Comments on "Travel Tip of the Day: How to Get from London to its Airports"

  1. Be VERY aware of the time you need to reach the airport! We tried to save money by talking the tube instead of the Heathrow Express. Sure it was cheaper and it got us there, but with many stops on the way and we were late and missed our flight! Just pay the money and take the Express, its well worth it!

  2. Easy bus from Gatwick may be 4 pounds in some very limited circumstances. But even during non-busy periods, they charge more like 10 pounds. So, they are a better deal than the trains or taxis, but not nearly as good as their advertising leads one to believe.

  3. Katherine Scalingi | May 21, 2015 at 11:10 am | Reply

    Regarding your tip on taking alternatives to Heathrow Express, if you plan on taking the Tube, check the ‘Step Free Tube Guide’, (www.tfl.gov.uk, maps, tube maps) and make sure you aren’t going to be confronted with a flight of stairs when you get off the Tube. Nothing worse than flying all that way, travelling on the Tube and then lugging your bags up a long flight of stairs.

  4. Very helpful Johnny … and I’m from London !

  5. I checked the Easy Bus website and they now admit that buying tickets online beforehand is the only way to possibly get a ticket for 4 pounds instead of the 10 pounds that I paid last year. They also admit that their price is much higher if one does not buy on line–information that used to be omitted from their website, but now is perfectly clear. I assume that in the past they had a lot of complaints about their dubious advertising of the 4 pound price, but now have clarified the matter sufficiently.

  6. I have heard that Sunday morning is the worse time to try to get to Heathrow, extremely crowded roads
    and the tube.

  7. Rather than the Heathrow Express, you can take the Heathrow Connect train from Paddington to Heathrow. It takes ten minutes longer than the Express but costs L9 instead of L14. I did this a few years ago when the pound was worth almost $2. If you’re not traveling at rush hour, I have also found that a car service set up by your hotel can be a good deal if you have three people to split the cost.

  8. I have used all these bus/ rail options between London and its airports but my fave way is to book a mini-cab when outside peak traffic times. They are far cheaper than the standard black cab (although not as fun), and if there are 3 or more travelling can be cheaper than the expresses. They can be pre-booked, provide a meet-and-greet on arrival service, and for families or anyone with luggage, avoid the many stairs and gaps of the tube.

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